In the article “Rules of poker” we will explain in detail the rules of Texas Hold’em, review the available combinations and strategies, and decipher poker terms.
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Thanks to the simple rules, the opportunity for strategic thinking and the incredible tension that poker creates during the game, it still continues to win the hearts of people all over the world.
Texas Hold’em is one of the most famous and popular varieties of poker. The game, which was first introduced in Texas in the early 20th century, quickly became a major attraction in casinos and poker rooms. In this article, we will look at the rules of the game, strategies and some interesting facts about Texas Hold’em.
Rules of poker: Texas Hold’em
Texas Hold’em is played with a regular 52-card deck. Players are dealt two closed cards each, called “pocket” or “starting hand” cards. Then five common open cards, called “community” cards, are placed on the table. The object of the game is to make the best combination of your two pocket cards and the five common cards.
The game can be played by 2 to 10 players. One of the players must be the dealer, i.e. the one who will deal cards to the other players and control the action at the poker table (indicated by a D chip). For each hand, a new player is assigned to be the dealer (the change takes place clockwise at the table).
To the left of the dealer we will always find the small blind (SB) and the big blind (BB). The purpose of these blind bets is to recreate the starting part of the game. Players number 1 and 2 must put money in the pot before they even see their cards. The size of the blind is set before the game starts (the SB bet is half the size of the BB).
Each player is then dealt two cards (starting hand) face down clockwise from the dealer. Each player may only look at his own cards. After the cards have been dealt and the small blind and big blind have been placed on the table, the player on the left side of the BB starts the first round (Example #4).
Here each player has three options to continue the game: Call (bet the same amount as the previous player), Raise (bet more than the previous player) or Fold.
After all players have spoken, all bets placed are collected and a pot is formed, which is placed in the middle of the table.
After the dealer has laid the flop (the first three total cards) on the table, another round of betting begins. The first player to start the round is the first active player to the left of the dealer. If the player with the small blind did not discard cards in the previous round, he starts the second round.
He has several options: check – skip a turn to see what others are doing; bet – bet any size or fold. If a player makes a check and his opponent bets, the game will return to you in order to equalize/raise the bet or fold.
The second round is considered to be over after all players have had their say. The third round of betting begins – turn (the dealer puts the fourth card on the table). After that the players again get the opportunity to bet according to the rules described above.
After the dealer places the fifth card (river) on the table, the final betting round begins, in which the same rules apply. After the final betting round, the cards will be revealed. Each active player reveals his cards to determine the best 5-card combination.
Each player has two cards in his hand, which he combines with the total cards on the table to create a possible combination. Essentially, a player creates his own combination of 7 possible cards. The player with the strongest combination wins the pot.
After the cards are revealed (showdown) and the pot is awarded to the winner, the dealer is changed and a new hand begins.
Rules of poker: Card combinations
In Texas Hold’em, there are a number of possible card combinations that determine the strength of a player’s hand. The weakest combination is the high card and the strongest is the Royal Flush. Let’s take a closer look at them.
- High card (kicker). If you have not collected any combinations, the result may be a senior card such as a king or ace.
- Pair. Two cards of the same rank, such as 7+7.
- Two Pair. If the combinations are the same, the best will be determined by the highest pair.
- Set (Three of a Kind). Three cards of the same rank, e.g. 7+7+7. If two players have the same set, the winner is determined by the best kicker.
- Straight. Five cards in order of different suits. The Ace can be either the largest card or the smallest (instead of the one). If two players have a straight, the one who has the straight with the highest card wins.
- Flush. Five cards of the same suit. If two players collect a Flush, the player who has the Flush with the highest card wins.
- Full House. Three cards of the same value + pair (or set + pair). Full House is determined by the seniority of the 3 cards. If there is a tie, the one with the highest pair wins.
- Kare (Four of a Kind). Four cards of the same rank, for example 7+7+7+7+7.
- Straight Flush. Five cards in order of the same suit. An ace can be a sequence if it is placed at the end.
- Royal Flush. The best combination in poker: a ten, jack, queen, king, ace of the same suit.
In Texas Hold’em, the key is to be able to correctly evaluate the combination of your cards, as well as to observe the actions of your opponents. It is important to consider the probability of getting the right cards to make a stronger combination, and skillfully use bluffs to deceive your opponents.
Unlike a beginner, a poker pro develops his own set of strategies, techniques and skills that provide him with stable results. The most important skill in poker is the ability to correctly assess the strength of pocket cards.
Everyone realizes that AA is a great combination, but 7+2 is trash. The strongest starting hands in Texas Hold’em are high pocket pairs (AA, KK, QQ). In fact, this is a ready-made combination, which sometimes will be enough to take the pot.
Be careful when playing medium and small pocket pairs (77, 99, 88), they are tricky hands that can both turn into a very strong combination and cause a lot of trouble.
With A+K cards you are much more likely to make combinations than with A+8 or K+9. It is necessary to give preference to linked cards (connectors) J+10, A+K, as with them you can collect a good combination “straight”. If the connectors are of the same suit, there is a chance to collect a “flush”. With time you will learn to apply different tactics in the game without any problems.